4.0: PAIZO IS STILL UNDECIDED


4th Edition

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Liberty's Edge

I'm updating my earlier position. I find it extremely doubtful I'm going to go fourth (look--I'm so punny *rolls eyes*). I'll take a look at the SRD when it's available. If it's the greatest thing since sliced bread, I'll convert. If not, at best I'll loot the mechanics for possible fixes--otherwise I'm happy with 3.5.

I miss pre-Hasbro WotC. My biggest wish is that Hasbro sells off D&D at some point and it can get back into the hands of a smaller company. A pipe dream, I'm sure, but y'know how it is.


I will support Paizo 3.5 forever.

Grand Lodge

Erik Mona wrote:

What do you think? Assuming the third Pathfinder Adventure Path, Second Darkness, remains 3.5, will you stick around? I know most of you are as in the dark about fourth edition as we are and I understand that it's too early to make a serious call. But how is the 4.0 hype treating you these days? Do you plan to start up a new 4.0 campaign on day 1?

What do YOU want Paizo to do?

Erik,

I'll give some quick background so you know where I'm coming from. I stopped playing AD&D shortly after 2E came out. I moved on to other games from other companies (RoleMaster, Star Wars D6, homebrews using Chaosium's system, etc). I only came back to D&D when I saw how tight 3E was and the philosophy that went into designing the rules. I started playing a couple of weeks (local RPGA preview at a convention) before 3E launched at Gen Con 2000.

I wrote two regional LG mods (Jason Buhlman was our circle rep for one of them), organized local weekly gamedays that sat up to 3 tables at a time, and helped run RPGA games at local conventions (A-Kon and others).

I was irritated by some of the (IMO) nonsensical changes brought about by 3.5, but kept at it because my gamer friends (all LC/LG junkies) kept playing. In the last two years, I've only played RPGA games at Gen Con (when my scattered friends and I can get together) and at a couple of home games when one of our out-of-town friends comes through Dallas.

The rest of the time, I play in three home games (one Ptolus, one FR, one Deadlands Classic). The FR campaign just ended last week, and I'm starting RotRL for the group tomorrow (which should take us 12 months or so to work through as we only meet on average every 2 weeks).

PF#1 and PF#2 are among the best-written modules I've ever read, and I'm really looking forward to running them for my friends.

None of whom are thrilled about 4E. In fact a sarcastic, "Simpler with more options," has become the standard reply to any 4E comment among us.

The fact that WotC has provided almost no insight into the mechanics of 4E has left us very, very wary of what's coming. With no LG to keep us playing through the transition to 4E, I doubt we'll be in any hurry, if we ever switch. (The only point of interest for me in 4E is the reduction of Vancian magic.)

The net result is, I'll go wherever my friends go. If we enjoy Pathfinder enough (as much as I hope we will), I'll probably be able to argue for staying with whatever Paizo does, even if it's a 3.75. Heck, with the way my group feels about 4E and WotC at this point, 3.75 would probably be an easier sell than 4E.


Razz wrote:
When WotC first acquired D&D, we all said the same thing, I'm sure: "They're going to ruin D&D and transform it into some kind of CCG..."

Nope, never knew anyone that said such a thing. There were a few people going 'Ohnoez! D&D will have collectable rules!' but they were idiots, and who listens to idiots?


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I, personally, would have no problem sticking with Pathfinder if it remained 3.5, or even adopted a "3.75" brand of rules.

I play 3.5, I've written supplements in 3.5, and I know 3.5 very well. I think that, as a system, it works. I have no problem staying the course if that's the direction Paizo goes.


Wayne Ligon wrote:
Razz wrote:
When WotC first acquired D&D, we all said the same thing, I'm sure: "They're going to ruin D&D and transform it into some kind of CCG..."
Nope, never knew anyone that said such a thing. There were a few people going 'Ohnoez! D&D will have collectable rules!' but they were idiots, and who listens to idiots?

Well, they have tried their best to make it into collectible miniature game. But I'm sure that whatever they do with 4th edition it will be much worse. I dare them to prove me wrong, and in that case, and if they improve the quality of their products, I might convert. In five years or so.

Back on topic, if WOTC remains silent continuing the 3.5 line for the time being might be the only option. When and if they decide to divulge that, yes we don't like 3rd party publishers getting their greedy paws on our new game, then 3.75 might be in order.

In any event if you decide to take the 3.75 route (or indeed continue with 3.5) I will applaud your efforts - for whatever it's worth.


Wayne Ligon wrote:
Razz wrote:
When WotC first acquired D&D, we all said the same thing, I'm sure: "They're going to ruin D&D and transform it into some kind of CCG..."
Nope, never knew anyone that said such a thing. There were a few people going 'Ohnoez! D&D will have collectable rules!' but they were idiots, and who listens to idiots?

Actually, at the time, I remember our group thinking it would be cool if the fluff text and art of MtG was used to create a new campaign setting. I thought that was going to be a given for an obvious marketing tie-in, but it never happened. Of course, WotC got away from the "new campaign setting every year" model that TSR seemed to have going at the end.

Alas, I really wanted to see Kurd Apes and Lanowar Elves in the Monster Manual ;-)


I'd really like to see Paizo go the 3.75 route.

Not so much for Pathfinder and adventurers so much as for a better evolution of the existing game than what WotC has previewed thus far.

I'd be stoked to get new monster compendiums, rules supplements, etc. that continue to expand upon this system. By the time this system grew long of tooth, it will be about 5e time and I'd then re-evaluate what "official D&D" has to offer.

Dark Archive

EriK Mona wrote:

What do you think? Assuming the third Pathfinder Adventure Path, Second Darkness, remains 3.5, will you stick around? I know most of you are as in the dark about fourth edition as we are and I understand that it's too early to make a serious call. But how is the 4.0 hype treating you these days? Do you plan to start up a new 4.0 campaign on day 1?

What do YOU want Paizo to do?

I want Paizo to continue and to flourish.

I am 34. I played D&D back in the mid-80's (can you say +1 Jelly Bracelet of Protection?), skipped the 2nd Edition years, and got back into D&D just in time for my brand new 3.0 rule books to be outdated by 3.5 edition.

When Paizo announced that it was no longer publishing Dungeon and Dragon magazines but was starting a new setting of its own, I jumped on subscribing immediately. Why? I don't even play much any more (aside from two PbP's on this site). But, I enjoy being "in" the ground floor of what will--I hope--be a very successful campaign setting.

I will keep buying Paizo products because I want to continue supporting a company that is so responsive to its customers and that so obviously enjoys creating great products. I don't really care what edition you convert to.

Lastly, as much as change freaks me out, I will take a serious look at 4.0, and I will probably--eventually--convert, but not for some time. I want to see how things shake-down before spending money on a new version that'll be out of date as soon as 4.5e comes out.


Boy, am I late in this topic..

Anyway, I really like Paizo products, they are good - for the most part - of course. (I still, really, really, really miss the old Dungeon/Dragon - but that is old news.)

I would be totally happy with continued 3.5 support, or the talked about 3.75 update. Either way, I was planning on sticking with 3.5 for a while anyway (especially GameMastery products), and would continue to buy/support Paizo in this way.


My answer is that as long as Paizo keeps publishing quality stuff, i'll keep buying. with that said, no, i won't be buying hasbro's EXTREME 4th edition d&d. i don't remember the last thing i bought from WOTC. oh, take that back, i bought expedition to greyhawk ; ) however, nothing from WOTC has interested me recently except the expedition series.
i actually have the time and inclination to tinker with published material so even if everyone goes 4ed. i will still convert or cannibalize good material wherever i find it for my campaigns. i guess my only concern is that i will have trouble find 3.5 ed players, but i think my current group has as little faith in 4ed as i do.
thanks for asking.

Liberty's Edge

I'll play whatever Paizo makes.

I'll be more enthusiastic about it if it stays 3.5, however.


I will go where the talent goes. And right now that is Pathfinder. I love Pathfinder and everything your doing with Gamemastery. 3.5 Would keep me around more than 4.0

Top notch talent, top notch stories, top notch artwork.

I am with you guys till the end of days.

Liberty's Edge

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
gurps wrote:

This is one of my favourites for my new D&D campaign starting in november - my players never mind which system we use, as long as the fun remains the same (which it does) - so the system has to fulfill my (gm/dm) wishes. I AM willing to try AE for this campaign - I already have the books, I just have to read them :-)

I will take a stroll to OYT for a summary first, I guess ...

Yet another brief tangent, am I their master, or are they mine?

*grins*

AE/AU system is Monte's tweaks on 3.5e, a couple skills are merged, racial levels for most races in addition to class levels, ritual means a lot, and the magic system is very, very flexible.

I've had folks say that if D&D rings J.R.R. Tolkein in theme, then Arcana Evolved/Unearthed evokes C.S. Lewis.


Dear Paizo,

My friends and I are thoroughly happy with two things:
1. v3.5 D&D
2. quality and price of paizo products

we were discussing and hoping paizo would continue with the v3.5 line.
Having stuff appear every month in my mailbox at home (while irking my wife) is very cool.

We enjoy playing them and using them.

Do please consider keeping your v3.5 line alive.

Matt


Just to add yet another voice to the masses...

I will continue with Pathfinder in the 3.5 version. Once it converts to 4E (which I think is the most likely route to take in the business world), I doubt I will continue. The stories, plotlines, and everything are wonderful, but I do not plan on going the 4E route.

If the 3rd Pathfinder is the last one that is 3.5 I will consider it a gift and use the products I already have.


DeadDMWalking wrote:
elvnsword wrote:


The only thing WotC is getting my money from me for is minis... and only cause I can't paint.

It's still in the early stages, but Reaper Mini is releasing a prepainted plastic minis line. I like the fact that they're the same size as the metal minis (WotC are just a little smaller than I like).

http://www.reapermini.com/gallery/LegendaryEncounters

Alas they don't appear to be the right size; certainly they don't appear to have bases of the right size. :-(


Ernest Mueller wrote:

So chip in on my thread at wizards.com where I'm trying to shame them into answering the question!

http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=944115

Speaking of the size of miniatures, I noticed on this thread that Bill S said they're going to launch a new miniatures game in April. I wonder if the new miniatures will be the right size for 3.5 too (ignoring, for the moment, the monsters that will change)? I understand that Wizards makes a good profit off the miniatures (by forcing people to buy many multiples of undesirable miniatures to get the desirable ones. Just imagine if they could fool people not only into buying a new set of core books every year, but an entire new set of miniatures for every single D&D monster! They could, for instance, go back to the "facing" rules of 3.0 and make creatures take up non-square rectangles, forcing everyone to buy an entire new set of miniatures for the new game. Just think how profitable that would be for them!


Uzziel the Angel wrote:


Speaking of the size of miniatures, I noticed on this thread that Bill S said they're going to launch a new miniatures game in April. I wonder if the new miniatures will be the right size for 3.5 too (ignoring, for the moment, the monsters that will change)? I understand that Wizards makes a good profit off the miniatures (by forcing people to buy many multiples of undesirable miniatures to get the desirable ones. Just imagine if they could fool people not only into buying a new set of core books every year, but an entire new set of miniatures for every single D&D monster! They could, for instance, go back to the "facing" rules of 3.0 and make creatures take up non-square rectangles, forcing everyone to buy an entire new set of miniatures for the new game. Just think how profitable that would be for them!

Since they are updating all of the old sets with DDM 2.0 stats, the physical sizes of the minis won't change, but some monsters are changing size in 4E (for example, I think the bar-lgura went from from medium to large).

I doubt they would bring back facing since (IIRC) they ditched facing precisely so they could roll out the minis line. (Remember, in 3.0, some monsters sizes were 5' x 10'.)

The Exchange

I guess I just don't get it. I am a regular at a local game shop. Been shopping there since 1975. Worked there for 6 years. I know most of the regulars and have known the manager for 25 years.

I have yet to hear the kind of WotC hating that seems to prevail here. In fact at our last LG gameday most folks were ready to reserve their 4E books right then and there.

Paizo will do whatever it feels is best for its business but from my perspective all of this anti 4E sentiment does not reflect the majority of the gaming population.

The funny thing about this is that I heard all of this before when 3E was announced.

Hmmmmm.


I haven't read this entire thread, but I have a feeling I'm about to say what most everyone else is saying:

I have much more respect for Paizo than WotC as a company. No need to go into details.

My recommendation is don't convert. Publish a Pathfinder "core book", using the freely available d20 rules. That way, we don't have to rely on the core books from WotC (which will be Out of Print once 4e releases anyway). 3.5 may be an OOP system but that doesn't necessarily mean its dead in the water, especially when promoted by a company like Paizo and tied to a product like Pathfinder (both solid as a rock).

Its hard to tell just by reading message boards, but there seems to be a backlash against WotC on how they've handling things recently. WotC has undoubtedly made a hard business decision (for better or worse); I think Paizo should do the same. I think there is a chance here for unparalleled success if Paizo develops it own gaming system rather than converting to 4e.


crosswiredmind wrote:

I guess I just don't get it. I am a regular at a local game shop. Been shopping there since 1975. Worked there for 6 years. I know most of the regulars and have known the manager for 25 years.

I have yet to hear the kind of WotC hating that seems to prevail here. In fact at our last LG gameday most folks were ready to reserve their 4E books right then and there.

Paizo will do whatever it feels is best for its business but from my perspective all of this anti 4E sentiment does not reflect the majority of the gaming population.

The funny thing about this is that I heard all of this before when 3E was announced.

Hmmmmm.

I appreciate your opinion, and I'll not begrudge anyone that might like the proposed changes of 4th edition, nor anyone that might just want a change in general. I don't, and I would prefer that Paizo stay 3.5, and while I know they want to do what is best for them (and they should), I'm telling them what I want.

Also, I am a bit weary of hearing that everyone that isn't thrilled with the prospect of 4th edition is complaining "just like when 3rd edition was announced." This is dismissive and a way to nullify dissenting opinions without having to actually consider if they have any merit. I don't mind if you disagree with me, but please, lets not assume you know why I don't like 4th edition or how I reacted to 3rd edition.

Also, anecdotal evidence doesn't really do a whole lot to prove one position or another. I play in two different groups, and I keep in contact with one of my former players, and I haven't yet run into any gamers I know personally that are interested in 4th edition. That having been said, I would by no means extrapolate that to mean that I know this is indicative of the overall "vibe" of the gaming community.

The Exchange

I am not being dismissive but this al sounds like the chatter that surrounded the 2E to 3E switch. Its history repeating itself.

Just an observation.

As for the merit of not wanting to switch. Cool by me if you do not want to switch.

The market will do what the market does regardless of merit. If it were my company I would be looking to switch over to 4E as soon as possible. WotC, for all of its faults, is the industry leader and when it moves so will the rest of the industry. If I were an OGL publisher my long range business plan would be to follow the leader. The risks of not moving with the big dogs is that you get left behind to scrape out a niche.

There are a whole lot of emotions wrapped up in this debate and every individual needs to decide for themselves to buy or not buy into 4E. That is different from the business decision to take a company in a specific direction or not.


crosswiredmind wrote:
The market will do what the market does regardless of merit. If it were my company I would be looking to switch over to 4E as soon as possible. WotC, for all of its faults, is the industry leader and when it moves so will the rest of the industry. If I were an OGL publisher my long range business plan would be to follow the leader. The risks of not moving with the big dogs is that you get left behind to scrape out a niche.

Actually I think Paizo would be smarter to delay transition for a time, perhaps with a few module releases with 4th edition, but not a full blown transition. The reason is simple. WotC and Hasbro is a big company, if they make a goof, read the public interest wrong, they can survive bringing out a product that the demand is not present for. On the other hand Paizo is smaller and so needs to be much more careful. Paizo could burn their bridges with current customers that don't want to change, only to find out 4th edition was a totaly screw-up and not get new customers.

I would say at least Paizo should probably wait 6-12 months before full blown transition to see how the dust settles. Alot of people aren't going to be looking for supplemental material for a while anyway after just dropping money on new core books. Give them time to learn the new rules and see if there is a demand, then switch over if it looks like there is the desire there.

Though unless Paizo does what Artifact suggested and come up with its own core rules book, they are going to have to switch eventually. They are not at this time a stand alone product and so they will not be able to recruit brand new customers. Some of us old curmgeons might think, "I got all the books I need, I ain't switching!", but the guy in his first semester of college that goes to the game store for the first time might not have that option, he's going to grab whatever edition is on the shelf, and in a few months that is going to be 4th edition.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

crosswiredmind wrote:


There are a whole lot of emotions wrapped up in this debate and every individual needs to decide for themselves to buy or not buy into 4E. That is different from the business decision to take a company in a specific direction or not.

Well put.


pres man speaks wisely.

I would love a Paizo 3.75 PHB, DMG & MM. I really would love to see what rules you guys would be change.

Y'all are some smart and creative designers, so you have my money whichever you decide. My two groups will not be switching to 4th right away - the one more active one is talking about waiting years before we change. I'll probably buy the PHB/MM/DMG if I like what I see at the store, but only to look and rip ideas for any 3.5 campaigns we have going on at the time.

If Paizo continues supporting 3.5, all the better.

Thank you, Erik, and thank you, Paizo, for this thread and your continued excellent customer service.

Sovereign Court Contributor

I keep hearing that this is the same discussion that was happening when 3.0 was announced. I'm sure to some degree that's true, and I know that many people still refuse to move up from second (or even first) edition. However, for me it's quite different, because I was unanawre of 3rd edition until it was out. Why? Because I had ditched D&D for games that were better. And then when 3rd edition eas out and I found out about it, I came back to D&D. Pretty much all of the people I game with are in the same boat, and I've talked to a lot of other players who feel the same way.

Most of them do not want to leave 3.0/3.5 because it is a good game, but they already had left 2nd ed becasue it was not a good game.

I will presonally wait until 4E comes out to make a final decision, bur honestly, I believe that there are way more people wanting to stick with 3.5 than there were people who wanted to stick with 2E.

Scarab Sages

Well, I want to stick with Paizo regardless. I think the idea of producing your own Pathfinder game could be intriguing; you certainly have talented people there! I believe there is going to be a market for both 3.5 and 4.0 out there. It ccmes down to a question of which do you pursue? Are you going to be proactive or reactive to the new market? I want to see Paizo continue and flourish. Do what makes the most sense in that light.

Dark Archive

pres man wrote:
crosswiredmind wrote:
The market will do what the market does regardless of merit. If it were my company I would be looking to switch over to 4E as soon as possible. WotC, for all of its faults, is the industry leader and when it moves so will the rest of the industry. If I were an OGL publisher my long range business plan would be to follow the leader. The risks of not moving with the big dogs is that you get left behind to scrape out a niche.

Actually I think Paizo would be smarter to delay transition for a time, perhaps with a few module releases with 4th edition, but not a full blown transition. The reason is simple. WotC and Hasbro is a big company, if they make a goof, read the public interest wrong, they can survive bringing out a product that the demand is not present for. On the other hand Paizo is smaller and so needs to be much more careful. Paizo could burn their bridges with current customers that don't want to change, only to find out 4th edition was a totaly screw-up and not get new customers.

I would say at least Paizo should probably wait 6-12 months before full blown transition to see how the dust settles. Alot of people aren't going to be looking for supplemental material for a while anyway after just dropping money on new core books. Give them time to learn the new rules and see if there is a demand, then switch over if it looks like there is the desire there.

Though unless Paizo does what Artifact suggested and come up with its own core rules book, they are going to have to switch eventually. They are not at this time a stand alone product and so they will not be able to recruit brand new customers. Some of us old curmgeons might think, "I got all the books I need, I ain't switching!", but the guy in his first semester of college that goes to the game store for the first time might not have that option, he's going to grab whatever edition is on the shelf, and in a few months that is going to be 4th edition.

Excellent analysis.

While I'm drooling at the idea of 3.P core books (with only the MM being strongly linked to the Golarion setting, though), I also understand that as a commercial company Paizo needs to do what's best for its own survival on the market.
As such, a 6-12 months waiting time after the 4e release to consider proper full-switching of the rules used in its products seems a really good strategy - maybe doing some one-shot GameMastery modules to gauge the market potential.

That said, my opinion about 4e and my plans of not converting don't change of one iota. ;)

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

golem101 wrote:

Excellent analysis.

While I'm drooling at the idea of 3.P core books (with only the MM being strongly linked to the Golarion setting, though), I also understand that as a commercial company Paizo needs to do what's best for its own survival on the market.
As such, a 6-12 months waiting time after the 4e release to consider proper full-switching of the rules used in its products seems a really good strategy - maybe doing some one-shot GameMastery modules to gauge the market potential.

That said, my opinion about 4e and my plans of not converting don't change of one iota. ;)

I, unfortunately, think conversion is inevitable. :-( Anymore, I also don't trust WotC/Hasbro any farther than I can throw them. Hopefully, when Paizo converts (as much as I'd buy a 3.P edition) they'll still make an occasional 3.x adventure to test the market.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
crosswiredmind wrote:
The market will do what the market does regardless of merit. If it were my company I would be looking to switch over to 4E as soon as possible. WotC, for all of its faults, is the industry leader and when it moves so will the rest of the industry. If I were an OGL publisher my long range business plan would be to follow the leader. The risks of not moving with the big dogs is that you get left behind to scrape out a niche.

The question is what are the rules to move with the big dog? Has anyone seen the new OGL? My reading of Rouse's posts seems that they havent finalized the new OGL. Will WOTC allow as much freedom as the previous 3OGL? Will there be a fee or approval process? I think any OGL publisher needs to take that into consideration too. After all if classes like the bard/druid/etc and monsters are not in the initial core books, will wizards want other publishers beating them to it? To be fair that might be why there are going to be multiple core book series. That way multiple 3rd parties would use the official classes. However, I think any company has to look at all possibilites.

Hopefully OGL will be just as open, 4e better than 3e and after Second Darkness Paizo will switch. However, since I do favor using modules now a days I'll stick with Paizo's direction.

The Exchange

pres man wrote:
Actually I think Paizo would be smarter to delay transition for a time, perhaps with a few module releases with 4th edition, but not a full blown transition.

I definitely agree that the switch is inevitable. It would be a sound decision to launch 4E material by GenCon, but continue with 3.5 on all of the in flight adventure paths.

Maybe this is not as black and white as it seems.


crosswiredmind wrote:
I am not being dismissive but this al sounds like the chatter that surrounded the 2E to 3E switch. Its history repeating itself.

When 3rd edition was coming out I knew very little of what what going to change from 2nd to 3rd edition. This made me a little leery.

My group had been playing a slightly tweaked version of 2nd edition for some time and we all swore to stick to it UNLESS 3rd edition was markedly better than 2nd edition. I wanted to switch 3rd edition as soon as I read the PHB and convinced the other guys to come along for the ride.

The difference is that I'm much better informed about the route that Wizards will take to get to 4th edition and, by and large, am unhappy with their decisions. Hopefully I'm wrong and history will repeat itself but the more I read the less that seems likely.


Unfortunately, the one thing that they absolutely cannot afford to do is educate everybody as to how to use their existing 3.5 materials with the 4th edition rules; they need everybody to upgrade to the 4.0 rulebooks, and, two years from now, they need everybody to buy the 4.0 campaign settings, rather than going to Half Price books and buying the 3.5 setting for, well, half the price.


crosswiredmind wrote:
I am not being dismissive but this al sounds like the chatter that surrounded the 2E to 3E switch. Its history repeating itself.

There's a much bigger difference:

The transition from 2E to 3E was NEEDED because D&D was going to die. They needed to bring it back up on its feet and introducing a new edition would help. Considering the fact that a major rules overhaul was necessary, D&D required a 3E if it wanted to survive.

To make matters more easier, a lot of the material in 3E has stayed true to its roots and traditions from 1E and 2E. 3E was really just a rules change, and not a flavor change. Everything you saw from 1E and 2E was still there, and in all published campaign settings.

4E, however, is just wrong. For one, it's not needed, unless you're attempting to make a ton of money and nothing else. It's NOT necessary for it to keep D&D alive. D&D has been bigger than ever thanks to 3E, why kill 3E other than for money?

Second, and the most important reason why 4E will be really bad and why it's unnecessary, is the fact that WotC is consciously deciding to omit and rearrange EVERY single aspect that we've come to love and recognize D&D through since 1E, 2E, and 3E. A lot of the flavor is being completely re-arranged into a whole new game itself. Nothing in 4E is staying true to the traditions and "sacred cows" of D&D since its roots. A lot of it is being "slaughtered". And it's not for the sake of the game, as TSR had done it for, but for the sake of money and trying to win over the WoW crowd to the table.

Everything us "grognards" have ever known about D&D is about to be destroyed come 4E. And they don't really care. We're a dying breed, according to them. They want the "youth" of gamers, now. They want a slice of the huge pie the MMORPGs are collecting.


In my opinion, two key things are different between now and 2e -> 3e:

1) As we know, the OGL has allowed third party companies to make adventures. I have, literally, over 200 adventures for 3.5 that I can run, and that doesn't include giant adventures such as the World's Largest Dungeon, the Accordlands Campaign, Rappan Athuk Reloaded, Castle Whiterock, Ptolus, and the Drow War. With this kind of product available, no need to update, well, ever.

However one thing that could have led me to upgrade is the second difference which is:

2) A lack of a conversion manual. 1E to 2E was easy because the ruleset (despite a lot of tweaks) was basically the same one. 2E to 3E (and even 3E to 3.5) came with a free conversion manual, that basically allowed a gamer to use the new ruleset with the old products. What has WotC done this time? They've said conversion is not recommended and that we should start over.

Start over? If I were new to D&D, or didn't play much of 3.5, no problem. However, 300+ 3.x products later, I'm not really interested in starting over. Apparently, a number of people are in the same boat with me, so we'll see what happens.


crosswiredmind wrote:

I guess I just don't get it. I am a regular at a local game shop. Been shopping there since 1975. Worked there for 6 years. I know most of the regulars and have known the manager for 25 years.

I have yet to hear the kind of WotC hating that seems to prevail here. In fact at our last LG gameday most folks were ready to reserve their 4E books right then and there.

Paizo will do whatever it feels is best for its business but from my perspective all of this anti 4E sentiment does not reflect the majority of the gaming population.

The funny thing about this is that I heard all of this before when 3E was announced.

Hmmmmm.

One more thing to add, and I find your hobby shop rather (no offense) naive about WotC.

My local hobby shop (and it's really big here in town, people from towns outside come to it and it's building up a rep real fast) is filled with consumers and the owners and workers stating all the horrible things WotC has been doing (the running joke is WotC aka Nazi, since they phoentically say the word WotC in the store frequently instead of saying its acronym)---the laucnhing of 4E is one of them.

This debate at my LG is very different from yours. The complete opposite. The owner, in fact, does not ever plan to place 4E D&D books on his shelves. He is only continuing to promote 3.5E, because he, like many of the people that come to the shop, are just as furious at 4E's release. There was nothing wrong with 3.5E, maybe a little patching, but that was it. But it's still a great, working system. It only gets muddled when you start adding 50+ books and all the rules in your games.

The biggest reason for the hate is it's so blatantly obvious why they're releasing 4E. For the money, not for the game, and to attract the WoW gamers. This is backed up with evidence of the fact of all the "sacred cows" being slaughtered. When we log onto ENWorld at the shop and announce a new "change" to D&D, the looks of anger, horror, and disgust run rampant in the shop. No level draining, paladins don't have to be Lawful Good, alignment getting restructured, spell levels going from 1st-25th, Vancian magic halfway destroyed, Forgotten Realms being torn asunder---it's a whole new game that NONE of us recognize anymore.

If the change from 3E to 4E didn't involve so much flavor-killing and "sacred cow slaughtering", we might have given 4E the benefit of the doubt. But instead of being a rules change (or update), it's become an entirely new D&D game in name only.

Add this to the fact that some WotC employees have subtely already stated they're not concerned with the "oldies", "veterans", "grognards" anymore, that leaves a very sour taste in your mouth.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Razz wrote:
The biggest reason for the hate is it's so blatantly obvious why they're releasing 4E. For the money, not for the game, and to attract the WoW gamers.

Our hobby is shrinking. There are far fewer people buying RPG books than there were ten years ago. Someone needs to attract people like the WoW players or else our beloved game is going to keep spiraling into oblivion. I can't think of anyone better positioned to do this than a large corporation like Hasbro.

I'm clearly not part of the target audience for 4e, and I'm okay with that. There are lots of RPGs that suit me really well, including 3.5 (and my books aren't going anywhere).

I think that this is an important and necessary step for just the reasons you mentioned, and I don't think that we (the older players) are going to be too much worse off for it, particularly since a lot of people are going to be dumping a lot of 3.x books for cheap. I'm a bit worried about Paizo, but I'm also hopeful that they'll figure out a way forward that will work out for the best.

I don't think that we need to love 4e (or even play it), but I think that our hobby desperately needs an infusion of younger players; we can't keep sustaining the shrinkage. I hope that 4e succeeds in doing this.

The Exchange

Razz - i would not be so sure that 4E isn't going to save D&D. I do not know all of the numbers but i do know that the core books sell much better than those that follow. I know that as 3E matures fewer and fewer copies of the core books are selling as the game hits its saturation point.

If that pattern continues then D&D dies. 3E has done all it can to attract a new audience. It is now pushing its limits.

If D&D is going to survive it needs to show that it can be a viable product with a sustainable business model. 3.5 is a good set of rules. It definitely needs tweaks but it could stand on its own for at least a while longer. I agree with that.

The rub is that it won't sustain itself and when the cashflow dries up then our beloved game will fall into a downward spiral - much like the waning days of 2E.

WotC

... and calling them Nazi is truly beyond reason and any sense of civility. The Nazi atrocities and the memory of their victims and the targets of the horrors they perpetrated is cheapened everytime we invoke that name when it truly does not fit those to whom we have made the comparison ...

Wizards of the Coast is a business. They are fully aware of their bottom line. They know what sells and what does not. I trust that they spent a great deal of time and effort making the decision to produce a fourth edition of D&D. WotC is doing what all businesses do - try to stay in business, grow, and prosper.

I am sure this decision was made in order for D&D to remain a viable product.

I go back to what i said a few posts ago - the personal decision to play a certain game or buy a certain product is very different from the decision on what is best for a business.

I respect the decision to not buy 4E. I will not try and shape anyones decision on that front. I am one of the folks that actually welcome the new rules and plan on adopting them for my own campaign later in 2008.

Until then I plan on wrapping up LG with my friends, runing Pathfinder, and learning the new rules so that when my Pathfinder run is done its on to 4E.

Others will do whatever they want to do - and that's cool by me.

The Exchange

Razz wrote:
... it's a whole new game that NONE of us recognize anymore.

Is that a bad thing? I have been playing since three little books in a white box. AD&D came along and things changed. Dungeon crawls were replaced with whole worlds outside of the graph paper. Then more changes - new worlds - new editions - new concepts.

I played when characters fit on one side of an index card. I actually carried a character in my wallet in case a game broke out. Then all of a sudden you needed a whole sheet of paper. Then you needed a folio. Now I need an excel spreadsheet.

Tell you what - all of that change was good. The game grew and I would hope it can still continue to grow.

I know that change is not welcome by everyone. I see the same guys every year at DragonCon with the yellow Judges Guild DM's screen and the wonderful monochormatic character sheets. I have friends that refuse to play 3E and stick with 2E beause that's the way they like it.

That's cool. Its their choice. But no business will be able to sustain itself serving them unless that business wishes to remain small.

Change is not always good but not following the market is often bad for business.


Erik and all the fine folks at Paizo,

I avoided posting earlier on this topic for two reasons: first, I wanted to judge the second (and fortunately the third) issue of Pathfinder alongside the "on-line" debut of Dragon and Dungeon. Second, I wanted to avoid a for or against position regarding 4e. So here is my measured reply:

Pathfinder, and the Gamemastery module line, has proven to be of the highest quality. My two subscriptions with Paizo are the only money I have spent on D&D in the last three months-prior to that I was spending next to nothing. I will continue to subscribe in the foreseeable future. I consider the ideas contained in the physical form of Pathfinder and the modules the major selling point to me. Great stat blocks are handy, but the conceptual excellence and the craftsmanship evident in these books is what will keep me around.

Regardless of whether I chose to use 4e, and I may very well do so, or if your company chooses to use 4e, if your setting and materials are still brilliant, then count me in.

As far as the idea of a new version of 3e being used, that is a decision that is best left to you and your fellow Paizo staffers. I would hope if you seriously entertain the idea that you speak at length with companies like Green Ronin and Mongoose Publishing (both in terms of plans and actual figures) as both have moved away from the d20 SRD.

Sincerely,

Michael J Brisbois

P.S. I truely appreciate the open and responsive communication that your company has provided both me as a customer-from-afar, and as a community. If I ever have the chance to dine with you fellows, dinner will be on me.


Razz wrote:
crosswiredmind wrote:

I guess I just don't get it. I am a regular at a local game shop. Been shopping there since 1975. Worked there for 6 years. I know most of the regulars and have known the manager for 25 years.

I have yet to hear the kind of WotC hating that seems to prevail here. In fact at our last LG gameday most folks were ready to reserve their 4E books right then and there.

Paizo will do whatever it feels is best for its business but from my perspective all of this anti 4E sentiment does not reflect the majority of the gaming population.

The funny thing about this is that I heard all of this before when 3E was announced.

Hmmmmm.

One more thing to add, and I find your hobby shop rather (no offense) naive about WotC.

My local hobby shop (and it's really big here in town, people from towns outside come to it and it's building up a rep real fast) is filled with consumers and the owners and workers stating all the horrible things WotC has been doing (the running joke is WotC aka Nazi, since they phoentically say the word WotC in the store frequently instead of saying its acronym)---the laucnhing of 4E is one of them.

This debate at my LG is very different from yours. The complete opposite. The owner, in fact, does not ever plan to place 4E D&D books on his shelves. He is only continuing to promote 3.5E, because he, like many of the people that come to the shop, are just as furious at 4E's release. There was nothing wrong with 3.5E, maybe a little patching, but that was it. But it's still a great, working system. It only gets muddled when you start adding 50+ books and all the rules in your games.

The biggest reason for the hate is it's so blatantly obvious why they're releasing 4E. For the money, not for the game, and to attract the WoW gamers. This is backed up with evidence of the fact of all the "sacred cows" being slaughtered. When we log onto ENWorld at the shop and announce a new "change" to D&D, the looks of anger, horror, and disgust run rampant in the...

We cannot draw a valid conclusion about the majority of a population based on a small, non-random sample. Drawing conclusions based on the "everyone I know" claim falls under what we in economics call "availability bias." The majority of existing D&D players might end up switching to D&D, or they might not, but the response at your local hobby shops can't tell you one way or the other--as suggested, incidentally, by your two directly opposing hobby shop stories.

It's quite possible, moreover, that neither response gives a very good indication of the overall response to 4E. I think there's a good possibility that sufficient current and new players will play 4E so that it becomes the plurality D&D edition, without actually reaching the status of majority edition. It's easy to envision something along the lines of, say, 45% playing 4E, 40% playing 3rd Ed (3.0 and 3.5), and 15% playing earlier versions. It would only take a few percentage points to change for 3rd Ed to become the plurality edition instead.

I've tried to glean as much information both locally and online in estimating the impact of 4E, but I recognize that as widely as I've trolled for information that I haven't taken a random survey and that my evidence, albeit broader, might suffer from availability bias too. I don't find it too hard to envision the possibility that 4E will become the majority edition, or even that 3rd Ed will become the plurality edition. If I had to estimate the likelihood of various possibilities, I'd say about 50% that 4E becomes the plurality edition, 30% that 4E becomes the majority edition, about 15% that 3rd Ed becomes the plurality edition, and about 5% that 3rd Ed actually remains the majority edition.

I started playing D&D in 1978 with the white boxed set (original D&D), switched to AD&D, then 2nd Ed, then 3.0, and finally 3.5. I never considered not switching until 4E. I have to concur with Razz that it appears that Wizards will be introducing a new version of the game solely to raise profit margins and not out of any interest in improving the product; they seem clearly to be making changes only to have an excuse for introducing what they hope will turn into a boost in their profits. As a college economics instructor I have no objection to a firm increasing its profits; in the long-run, however, firms tend to increase their profits by making better products, not by making changes just to increase profits. Even if 4E turned out to improve over 3.5 for me--and so far, virtually everything I've heard about it sounds worse from my perspective--I didn't want to see a new edition for another 3 years at least. My players felt similarly. With what we've now heard about 4E, we probably won't ever switch to it, and unless 5th Ed makes a substantial reversion to 3rd Ed (and to 30+ years of D&D internal creature history), we might never switch to another edition.

As for the miniatures, I heard on the Wizards website that Wizards plans to release 4E update cards for some of the existing miniatures, suggesting that these miniatures at least will not change in size for 4E, and that at least some of the miniatures released after 3.5 will still represent the 3.5 versions of the creatures too--meaning that Wizards might still have a product or two that I might buy after they abandon 3.5. Of course with the way they insist on making people buy many undesirable miniatures in order to a each desirable miniature, I don't buy miniatures directly from Wizards anyway, but the purchases by people like me from third-party sources ensures the primary demand for Wizards miniatures.

Contributor

Christian Johnson wrote:


Nicholas Logue, whose adventures have helped form the core of my CSI: Sharn campaign (with the addition of material regarding the Quori takeover of Deneith in City of Towers), wrote:

Sometimes I just feel WotC doesn't care if it poops all over a large fraction of its older audience if it means they can push boxes and boxes of plastic nonsense on rich young kids whose parents will shell out 20 gp everytime the child needs a fix.

If this sounds personal, it isn't, so please don't take it that way. BUT...I think that this is filled with a lot of assumptions, and a certain amount of potentially pride based "preciousness," regarding the underlying intentions of WotC. Namely that WotC is intentionally pooping on fans for some bizarre reason. As if they want to lose an existing fan base, which makes zero business sense.

I believe, and I can't know, that the reason they are making the changes they are making is to bring new players into the mix. That, by necessity, means that they are going to tweak some traditional tropes. After all, the existing ones aren't continuing to bring new gamers into the hobby. The complaints I hear by 3rd edition fans today are the same ones, only slightly modified, that I heard back in 1988 and in 2000. Hasbro is looking for new players, they need a new "branding" for the same reasons Pepsi and Coke keep changing their advertising and recipes. And those of you who think that New Coke was the only time Coke changed their recipe, I've got some real estate I'd like to sell you. They need to make it fresh. In doing so, they have to carefully balance the need to satisfy existing gamers with making the game "sexy" enough for new players. We're just lucky that they aren't making D&D into the Avatar: The Last Airbender rpg.

As for the "pushing boxes and boxes" assertion you made, I almost took that personally. I am not a "rich young kid" and my parents stopped...

I apologize for my previous post. I was having a rough couple of days and my hackles were up about things that had nothing to do with WotC or minis and certainly not you Christian. I have to admit that while I don't own a ton of them, I do like the minis I have and a great good many of my friends really enjoy playing with them, so pooing on them as a product was not only unkind of me, but also just plain silly. My bad. I apologize again for the snarly way I posted that. I only meant that I don't wish to see a large fan base ignored, and I have no idea if that is even happening much less do I have any insight to the intentions behind any business decision made by WotC or any other gaming company for that matter. I rescind my earlier comments.


I won’t change to 4E. Not because of the rules changes– IMO I still don’t know enough yet – but because I’m 35, have a lot of other things in life…you know the story. Meaning that I don’t want to spend time to learn another rules set. In my professional life in the IT-world, change is the only constant and maybe therefore I long for a little more stability in some other domains. On top of that I and my fellow players only scratched the surface of the 3.5E rules set because we don’t play as often as we used to. Therefore we never bumped against the so said limits of 3.5E. Probably in the future we will hit them and then I can still look for a newer edition if the need arises.

But there comes the flavour aspect of the 4E. When I finally decide to switch to 4.5E or 5E will there be still 'D&D as we know it'? If you still play 1E (just to take an edition), you can still be part of the larger ‘D&D universe’ just the mechanics of how you experience this universe are different. In the future those who play D&D will not only be divided along the mechanics –line but also on the ‘flavour’-line (sorry could not find a more suitable term quickly). What if I start to look for the then available edition and I find out that it is something I don’t recognize as the game we played until then? I doubt I will buy it because it just has D&D on the cover.

But I will also tell another thingy. I started playing D&D with the 2E-rules, an edition which has IMO a rather negative rep on these boards (can be wrong on that). What if my FLGS had decided not to sell the 2E books? Chances are that I would be playing another RPG right now. And don’t forget my friends who I introduced to D&D instead of something else. So on this I concur with Press Man :

pres man wrote:


Though unless Paizo does what Artifact suggested and come up with its own core rules book, they are going to have to switch eventually. They are not at this time a stand alone product and so they will not be able to recruit brand new customers. Some of us old curmgeons might think, "I got all the books I need, I ain't switching!", but the guy in his first semester of college that goes to the game store for the first time might not have that option, he's going to grab whatever edition is on the shelf, and in a few months that is going to be 4th edition.

So I would not ask Paizo to write alternative rule-sets but to guard as closely as possible the grand feeling of being part of a common D&D-universe as play-ground for our own imagination in whatever rules-edition it is brought. If you can do that ( OGL and other real-world factors permitting) you got me hooked for the coming years (personal finances permitting).


Hi folks,

I'm amazed by the length of this thread, which has something to do with the survey on the left of Paizo's homepage, I see. Let's come out of the desert and say something, then...

I have nothing against a 4th edition that comes after 8 years from the previous one. How long are 8 years in the current telematic era, everyone can tell. Okay, they pulled a fast one on us with 3.5, but I personally never bought any 3.5 book with the exception of a Polish PHB for language learning purposes. Where do you think I started learing English 25 years ago, BTW?

What I hope will come out with 4th edition is a game with good variety, sensible mechanics (like 3rd edition has been) and, above all, REALLY balanced and simple rules.
The fact that we still have "rules terrorists" (a devolution of the rules lawyers") roaming free does not mean that we need a plus/minus one rule for everything. Nobody ever said that effective DMing has to the very difficult, but there must be some guys that do it FFF (faster, funnier and fairer) because of their intelligence, sensibility and judgement.
I also have nothing against the need of a battlemat and counters. I say counters because I would love an official range of them for us Merry Men to use as the Sheriff and Sir Guy play with traditional miniatures (plastic for the Sheriff and metal for Sir Guy, I guess).

Balanced and simple rules... hmmm...

I liked 3rd edition, but, in the last seven years, the number of times I played D&D at the table are between the countries I lived in (three) and the number of published articles I had on Dungeon and Dragon magazines. Not much, uh?

I have many reasons for that, but one of them is that the game is still too complex for a non-hardcore audience, and near to unplayable by "part-time" practitioners (let's call people with a family, a job, and more than 25 of age that way).

I really welcomed WotC's announcement that 4th edition will be easier to play and less time-consuming for preparation. I hope this means:

1) The end of attacks of opportunity. There is hardly a need for them when we have Concentration checks and Mobility feats in the rulebook.

2) Easy skill ranks, proficiencies, secondary skills... whatever. It's okay to a have some choice on this for PCs, but spending one hour on arithmetic calculations to get a NPC's skill right (with a high probability of error) is absurd. Also, the magic system has still too many non-combat spell that make most skills (especially rogue skills) a waste of time. These spell were a poor choice in proto-RPG miniature games, but are a game spoiler in modern D&D (actually, they have been like that for 20+ years). I really would see change self (disguise), find traps (search), knock (open locks) and a load of other combat spells go up some levels (2 or 3) or go to the trash bin. I can't put 10 traps and 10 locked doors in each dungeon to make the rogue useful, and I can't have a "master of disguise" assassin with his nose falling off as the novice 1st-level wizards impersonates whoever he likes without too much problems.

3) The rise (and maybe the expansion) of the "DM's best friend" as the only tool for adjusting any check (including attacks).
Advantage: +2
Normal: 0
Disadvantage -2
The expansion would be something as easy as this.
Slight advantage +1
Slight disadvantage -1
Big advantage +4
Big disadvantage -4
A good DM (or a novice one that accepts feedback and wishes to improve his performance) should be able to use guidelines as simple as the "DM's best friend " to give a fair adjustment to all tasks and resolve them with a quick and exciting die roll.

To sum up, I really hope 4th edition will be easy enough to allow a fast and seamless transition for Paizo, as I think that keeping compatible with an updated version of the "world most famous RPG" is very important for any publisher.

Keep it short and simple, please.

Cheers,

Tito


A few easy predictions:

1. In June 2008, 4E will be released as scheduled, no matter how much people complain.

2. The vast majority of regular 3E players will switch to 4E within a year of 4E's release.

3. The vast majority of D20 companies will also switch to 4E. Indeed, I'd venture to guess that no print D20 publisher will continue to support 3E beyond (at most) three to six months after 4E's release.

4. Players who truly stick with 3E and never buy 4E or related products will join the OD&D, 1E, and 2E stalwarts, present and occasionally vocal but generally viewed as (at best) lovable eccentrics and (at worse) deluded knuckle-draggers.

5. Within 3-5 years of 4E's release, there will be a major rules "upgrade" to D&D that, while possibly not called a "new edition," will be so in fact.

Dark Archive

I'm not sure if anyone will read this post, but I do wish to add my opinion:

I love Paizo, and I hope to continue to buy their products for however many editions come out. However, 4e does not look bad and I hope that paizo at least converts Pathfinder at some point along the line. I will still play 3.5 but eventually will make the transition. From a buisness standpoint, it may be for the best to covert because Wizards has at least a hundred thousand supporters who will convert.

If Paizo does choose to make a new form of RPG, I will not purchase it. There are too many Role-Playing-Games out there as it is. If you were to still publish the occasional 3.5, I would buy it. When WoTC first announced the change of editions I was furious, but now that I have learned more and kept an open mind Fourth Edition looks fun.

I sincerely hope that you will choose to convert at some point along the road.

Thank You Paizo.
Danflor


Smurf?

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

I would stick with Paizo if there was no conversion. I'm enjoying the Pathfinder, and wouldn't care in fact it would make life so much easier.

I'm apart of a similar debate for an online D&D chat, our largest problem that we have confirmation that a direct conversion wouldn't be possible like it was with 3.5. We'd have to build each character from the ground up again using the new rules, and with thousands of accounts none of the DM team is looking forward to it...nor are any of the players. But the biggest fear is that we just won't have content support after long, and eventually the site will die if we don't convert. The site isn't run for profit, but most certainly none of wish to see it die.

A viable, 3.75 conversion would be more to the liking to everyone on the chat, and to have content coming from an actual publisher would probably keep our site from disappearing to obscurity.

I recognized the cash grab 4.0 was, but I can't really hate WotC for doing it because as you said from a business prospective it works. But really it feels like, as a long time consumer, just a slap in the face.

Most of my Tabletop group are of the same opinion, and the rest just don't care, they'll play whatever whomever is DMing puts in front of them.

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